Addis Ababa University Observes World Social Work Day

Addis Ababa University (AAU), School of Social Work organized a half-day symposium for World Social Work Day in collaboration with Ethiopian Social Workers Professional Association (ESWPA) at Nelson Mandela Hall on 16th of March 2021.

Emebet Mulugeta (PhD), Academic Vice President of Addis Ababa University, said in the occasion that Social Work graduates of AAU are making significant contributions to solve various social problems in our country.

“The graduates will be able to provide policy and directional advice on the government’s work; inculcate a variety of important social values in the community; come up with optimal solutions for children, people with disabilities and the elderly,” Emebet added.

Mesele Mengisteab (PhD), Head for School of Social Work, said in his introductory and welcoming address that Social Work is an educational and social service profession born in the period between the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th centuries.

According to Mesele, Social Work is a field of learning and practical skill which is rapidly expanding in all parts of the world and instantly integrated into society. It is a field that combines professional ethics, servitude, social justice, equality, individual identity and professional identity, he added.

 “I respectfully request that the purpose of this symposium be taken as a key message of African thought that is a pillar of unity and solidarity,” Mesele remarked.

Mr. Getachew Bedane, Deputy Minister at the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, in his part mentioned that the observation of the Day, which is based on deep African ideas, has a special meaning and significance for us Ethiopians who have been able to set the standard for the history of black rule and freedom.

“Considering the realities of our country, we have found that the celebration of International Social Work Day with the themes “Humanity First” and “I am Because We Are” are appropriate and still suitable for the current situation in Ethiopia,” Getachew noted.

As Ethiopians are at a critical juncture where they need to bond themselves with not only the national real situation but also with the positive globalization based on an independent national identity and competitive socio-economic bases, Getachew insisted.

Sintayehu Dejene, Executive Director at Ethiopian Society of Sociologists, Social Workers and Anthropologists, in his keynote message delivered that March 16, 2021 is the crucial day to come and stand together to accomplish the common themes of “I am Because We Are” and “Humanity First”.

Sintayehu stated that World Social Work Day (WSWD) is a celebration to narrate and appreciate the achievements of social work, to raise the visibility of social workers and their services, to defend social justice, equality and human rights.

“WSWD is commemorated as a vital event in the social work activity heralding and promoting the contributions of the profession to individuals, families, communities and the wider society; positively changing the lives of orphans and vulnerable citizens is the most commendable one,” Sintayehu said.

The World Social Work Day was globally commemorated with a theme: “Ubuntu: I am Because We Are-Strengthening Social Solidarity and Global Connectedness!” And with a national theme: “Humanity First!”

By: Theodros Shewangizaw

Photo: Andualem Aseffa

Editor: Abraham Girmay